Religion

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I am unsettled. Unfortunately, this book I am reading is changing my life (second to the Bible). As I became more and more aware of the crime and poverty and "lostness" of our world in the news, when I really started paying attention, my heart started to burn. I live in America, the blessed land. I eat great food and sleep in a soft bed and get to have an education. What am I doing to change any of this? Lead worship in a church? Is that all?

Quote from "The Irresistible Revolution" -
"Two guys are talking to each other, and one of them says he has a question for God. He wants to ask why God allows all this poverty and war and suffering to exist in the world. And his friend says, "Well, why don't you ask?" The fellow shakes his head and says he is scared. when his friend asks why, he mutters: "I'm scared God will ask me the same question."

I am not saying that the American church in itself is pointless, because there are people to be reached, but I KNOW we should be doing more than leading services one or two days a week. What is religion really about? What was it supposed to be about, and how did we get where we are? Did Jesus really mean what He said when He told the rich young man to sell everything he had and give it to the poor?

For the first time, the verse that flies as the banner of this blog is starting to challenge me, and it hurts.

What is religion?

What is Christianity?

What does a Christian look like?

To conclude: James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

&

Mark 10:17-22. you can look that up on your own.

6 comments:

Jared Kirk said...

The local church is the hope of the world. When you have a lot of money to give (as most americans do) it makes sense to give it within the context of an organization that is properly set-up to distribute the funds appropriately. I can think of no better organization than a local church that is intent on redeeming its entire community. I would only say that the church doesn't necessarily have to be located in america...

McFarland said...

I agree with Jared, "the local church is the hope of the world." Where the problems exist is within those who are unwilling to challenge the norm and ask the questions that have been silenced by years of tradition and status quo. Keep digging in those passages and reading those books. You will never find the right answer if you never ask the question in the first place. So, keep asking.

By the way, I am coming up to Lynchburg this weekend, Friday through Sunday. I'll be hanging with David, so hopefully we can all hang out again. You da man.

Harrison said...

I'm not doubting the role of the local church, I'm questioning the personal involvement of its members. I know that it is set up to distribute funds, but should we not be out there, at least every now and then, to distribute love to those who need it? I'm talking about loving like Christ and getting your hands dirty, more than putting money in an offering plate (while, again, this is not a bad thing. It's a great thing, but I don't think it's enough).

Derek said...

So the question remains. What are we going to do about it? Will it forever remain in the realm of philosophy and discussion, or will we, the body of Christ (as an individual member) react to the things we know to be true. The only thing left to do is, to move it from the realm of posibility, into the world of reality.

Matt said...

Harrison, after talking with you tonight I really am reminded that I still believe the "Church" is the hope of the world. But for me what it means to be the church is taking on a whole new light that is filled with deep meaning and beauty. We say that the church is not the building, it's the people but does that reflect the way we live and opperate today? I believe that the hope of the world is the local church (by local church I mean people, a community of believers) but it is the local church that together as one body embraces the question of what it means to live Christ to the people in the communities surrounding, seeking to grasp the fullness of what it it would look like to live with the values, motives, and love of Christ in everything. That is what will change the world. Does that church have to look, sound, and act like and organized 21st century american church? No it doesn't have to but it can. The important thing is being of one mind and spirit. How that is best organized, I don't know yet. But I intend to find out.

Anyway bro, thanks for joining in this conversation and adding your thoughts. I appreciate that we are all on this journey together. I think that is what Christ would and does want. We'll have to grab coffee or dinner at the house sometime this week. I'll call you. Later.

Harrison said...

Derek:
I completely and wholeheartedly agree.